Summary: This sermon takes a look at what is so significant about the incarnation of God. The significance I point out is that it reveals who God is and what He is like, then I focus on the approachability of God and how He experienced what we experience.
This past week we exchanged gifts amongst our own family and to tell you the truth we just couldn’t wait to see the look on our little girl‘s faces. Denise had spent almost 4 months tracking down every type of care bear in existence for our youngest girl Carrie, and with all that hard work involved in the searching for and all the money we spent on those silly bears, we couldn’t wait to see her reaction when she opened all those bears. Yet amazingly enough, she hardly noticed the bears when she opened the gifts…because… she was to engrossed with the wrapping paper. She was throwing the paper left and right, giggling and having the time of her life. My thoughts were…think of all the money I could of saved if I just would of bought a roll of wrapping paper instead of all those bears.
But you know, hard as it is to believe, it’s easier than you think to get so caught up in the wrapping of a gift that you tend to neglect the gift itself. For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been going through a sermon series entitled the gifts of Christmas…and all these gifts we’ve covered are great…the joy, the peace, but they are just the wrapping of the ultimate gift, the gift of Jesus Christ. It’s so easy to get so caught up in the lights and the carols of the holiday season that we miss the significance of the event itself. Unto you this day is born a savior and He shall be called Emmanuel “God is with us” God had come near. John put it this way, “The word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.” Never has anything compared to this one event.
Larry King, the renowned talk show host, was once asked if you could interview one person from all of history who would it be and what would your question be. His answer was Jesus Christ. And he said, “I would ask him if he indeed was virgin born, because if He was it would define history for me." The birth of Jesus Christ is indeed the most significant event in all of history, but what is it that makes this day so significant. What is it that Christmas does for us. What does it mean for the word to be made flesh?
Well the first thing it does for us is this, it allows us to see who God is and what God is like. John 1:18 (NCV) says, “ No one has ever seen God. But God the only Son is very close to the Father, and he has shown us what God is like.” You know, there aren’t to many people out there who are still devout atheist. Those who are tend to have a rough time this time of year. I heard that there was an atheist Christmas special coming on TV here soon, it’s called “Coincidence of 34th Street”. But Atheism believe it or not is on a decline. Most can look at the careful precision of creation and can instinctively know that there is a Creator. Is there a God is not the question that is being asked but rather who is God and what is God like? Nature can tell us a lot about God, about His power, His beauty, but it can’t tell us about His personality, or His immense love for each and every one of us. But when we look at Jesus, we see God for Jesus is God. John 1:1 says, “In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
So the question we need to ask is who is this God? What is He like? Because instinctively we know that we have violated His rules, abused his property and we are at His mercy. Some people say that God is a vindictive God and will say, “God’s going to punish you.” or others will go to the opposite extreme and view God as some doting grandfather and they say, “don’t worry God’s going to forgive everybody no matter what”… but truth be told it’s all human speculation. But Jesus came to earth, , to reveal to us what God is like and He says, “I am God’s Son, He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” And that title right there , the title of Father, is so revolutionary in other religions and it says a great deal to me about who God is and what God is like. When you think of God, think of a loving Father. Jesus said for us to address God as “Our Father.”
You know a person’s title can tell us a lot about who that person is. If you were to have asked me 9 years ago who Denise Dean was I would have told you she was a pretty girl in church. If you asked me a few months later, I would have told you she was a pretty girl in church who couldn’t keep her eyes off me. And as my relationship with her evolved so did my names for her. At first she was an acquaintance , then a friend, then a girlfriend, then she became my fiancé, my wife. Now she goes by many names, she’s my confidant, the mother of my children, she’s my boss…umm…a very attractive boss. But as my relationship changed with her I gave her more and more names.